NELSON DIRENG africabasket.com
Men's basketball powerhouse, Troopers beat Police 70-52 on Sunday to win the National Championship at the University of Botswana. But in the women's final, Police defeated BVF V 47-45 to lift the title.In the men's competition, Troopers walloped an unsettled Police 63-42 in the first leg of the final on Friday.
However, Police came back strongly on Saturday to beat Troopers 50-47, forcing the final into a decider. It was Police's first-ever win over Troopers. On Sunday, Police were a shadow of the team that beat Troopers the previous day. Police were seemingly still caught in the excitement of winning their first game against Troopers, when the two met in the decider.
Troopers were off the blocks fast, as they raced to a 10-point lead in the first quarter. Police gained momentum in the second quarter but failed to maintain the tempo in the third and last quarter. Police's women side was dominant against BDF V, winning both the first and second legs on Friday and Saturday.
The Police' experience carried them through as BDF V fielded mostly youngsters, fresh from senior secondary schools. Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) league committee chairperson, Kabo Khama believes that the BDF V side will mature with time. 'BDF V players will be up to standard because they were able to hold up against Police losing with close margins,' he said.
Meanwhile, Khama said compared to last year, the National Championships were well organised. He said there were more spectators, perhaps because the games were held at night. 'Last year, we could not attract large crowds because we played during the day when it was hot. But this year, a lot of people showed up (for the night games,' he said.
He stated that playing at night is suitable for players as the temperatures are lower. 'We even want to change the structure of the league next year by having more night games,' he added. He said they are going to introduce the short clocks used in international games to enhance the level of competition next year. He said short clocks will prevent players from holding on to the ball for long without shooting.
'This will ensure that games are much quicker and more goals are scored,' he explained. This year, the National Championships got a P15, 000 sponsorship from Broadhurst Inn, triple the figure of P5, 000 which Beemark had availed in the previous edition. Khama said they have started soliciting sponsorship ahead of next year's events.
'We are also going to organise several fundraising events to help the sport grow,' he said.